Regensburg

Regensburg is a German town with a long history of trading in goods that were brought in on its two rivers, the Danube and the Regen. A stone bridge spanning the rivers was constructed in the 12th century, and still takes lots of foot traffic today. Our ship docked here early in the day and most people left the ship for the day to either walk around the town, ride to the Walhalla monument, or visit the nearby Weltenburg Abbey or the Thurn and Taxis Palace. Late in the day the ship had to pass through a lock in the town in order to continue the journey. I’ve taken lots of photos here, so they’ve been split into two blocks. Please keep reading after the second lot of photos.

I went out alone after breakfast and spent about an hour and a half wandering the streets. Marg stayed aboard the ship teaching a friend to crochet. Walking along the riverfront, approaching the old bridge, I came upon a small structure with smoke billowing from its chimney and a long line of people at its door. I got on the back of the queue and after about a fifteen minute wait I came away with a baguette filled with two bratwurst sausages, a squirt of sweet mustard, and a big pile of sauerkraut … and a big frothy Bavarian beer. Apparently this small wurstküche has been serving up bratwurst, sauerkraut and beer for hundreds of years and word has got around how good it is. The length of the queue at the door never diminished throughout the whole day.

Just a short time after eating my bratwurst, I came upon a dachshund, and I considered it good fortune to have a German sausage and a German sausage dog cross my paths on the same day.

I returned to the ship and Marg and some others joined me for a guided walking tour of the old part of the town with an art historian named Stephanie. She told us stories of some of the town’s famous residents, including Oskar Schindler, Goethe and Don Juan as we stood on the cobblestones outside their former houses.

Walking down a narrow laneway I was delighted to discover a small boutique vinyl record store with a window display featuring Elvis Presley, and at the heart of the display was Billy Thorpe – a nice little tribute to Thorpey on the other side of the world.

More words below the next lot of photos.

Aside from the stone bridge, the towering cathedral is the dominant structure in Regensburg. Unlike in other places we’ve visited, there was no charge to enter and no restrictions on photography – just a couple of signs asking us to respect the fact that it was a place of worship. I’ve heard friends in the past say things like ‘not another cathedral’ when visiting Europe, but I’m so in awe of these magnificent structures and the way they’ve survived the passage of time that I don’t imagine I’ll ever tire of visiting them.

It was dark and cold inside the Regensburg cathedral, but the beauty of this place shone through. Its huge stained glass windows had been removed and stored away safely during WWII, and all I could find myself thinking about while I was looking at them was the fate of the Notre Dame cathedral and its art treasures after hearing the news of the tragic fire on the previous day.

Following the guided tour, Marg and I kept wandering the cobbled streets and laneways of the town, enjoying the views every time we turned a corner. Naturally, Marg found a wool shop (her fourth so far), but the woman in the store told me no photos were allowed inside. So of course I walked outside and took one through the window, reflecting that it was very strange that the bishop of the cathedral placed no restrictions on people taking photos in that hallowed place, but the lady in the wool shop around the corner was too precious to allow me to keep a record of my wife’s European wool purchasing travels.

And then it was time for afternoon tea. What else but a strudel in this part of the world. It just hit the spot nicely. We walked across the bridge to the lock on the other side of town and waited for the Scenic Jasper to pass through it before returning to our ship.

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